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Ruud van den Muijzenberg: “We need to focus on creating a community and helping each other”

Ruud van den Muijzenberg grew up in the Dutch dance scene, having taken notice of electronic music when he was only 10 years old. Since then, he has embarked on a journey through Dutch hardstyle, house, and has now matured into a more melodic techno sound, which you will soon hear with his debut release on this new label, Elevate Zero Music.

Photo credit: Ruud van den Muijzenberg – Official

We caught up ahead of his first release on the label, ‘From the Void,’ which he produced alongside his friend Laszlo Gallo, who wrote and sang the lyrics. The track is already available on all platforms. Stream and download here.

EG: Growing up in the Netherlands, you must have been surrounded by good music. What was your first experience with electronic music here?

Ruud: When I was about 10, I used to watch TMF, which was like the Dutch MTV. It broadcasted from inside a club with DJs like Marco V, who mostly played trance. Later on, I got introduced to hardstyle and eventually became friends with Brennan Heart, a star of the hardstyle scene. I helped him with his label, One Blade Music, and played at X-Qlusive: Brennan Heart at the AFAS, which was a great experience. While that was happening, I started shifting my focus to house and techno. That’s when I met up with the Toolroom guys, who also have ZeroThree, a label focusing on progressive music.

EG: Who have been your biggest inspirations?

Ruud: Cristoph comes to mind as someone who has a distinct direction in his music that sounds different. I also really enjoy what Mind Against are doing with Habitat. Brian Cid is also someone who stands out for sounding fresh with a different approach and arrangement to his tracks. Jamie Kemp from Toolroom/ZeroThree is a great industry friend with whom I can exchange ideas, and that has been super helpful for my overall development.

EG: What inspired you to start DJing/Producing?

Ruud: I wanted to create energy in the room and something different that would make for a fun experience for people. Going out, to me, means spending time experiencing something that I don’t experience while at work or studying. I can’t get out of the work vibe when I hear the same tracks in a club that I’ve already heard five times that day while at work.

EG: When was your first gig?

Ruud: I was 16 years old, it was in 2005, and I was booked to play at a festival that I wasn’t legally allowed to attend because I was underage. However, I got in because I was playing. I had 20 vinyl records and played for an hour. It was a great feeling to see people watching me play.

“We need to focus on creating a community and helping each other.”

 EG: What have been some of your challenges?

Ruud: 10-12 years ago, it was much easier to get listeners and followers from around the world on SoundCloud. It is much harder now due to the overabundance of music out there.

EG: How do you tackle the competition?

Ruud: There isn’t much melodic techno in Eindhoven, so I don’t feel like I have to compete here. Overall, I just focus on supporting other people for the things I like. We need to focus on creating a community and helping each other. Reaching out to people and creating a network. Do anything to help, don’t be rude, lol.

EG: How do you stay motivated?

Ruud: I focus on having something to work towards. This creates a need to create something new and gives it urgency.

EG: How have you seen the scene in the Netherlands change over the years?

Ruud: The scene has grown a lot. The first festivals felt small and local, but then they really grew with more people attending from around the world. Productions also became bigger with a theme, making each one very different.

EG: What are some of your favorite festivals?

Ruud: Awakenings by far, Loveland has a great vibe, and I was impressed with Free Your Mind in Arnhem. I have been to Ultra Miami, and while most eyes are on the mainstage fireworks, I was more impressed by the Megastructure stage, which had more underground music and a massive dance floor.

“I want to focus on creating timeless-sounding tracks in progressive and melodic techno.”

EG: Tell us about your new track, ‘From the Void’…

Ruud: It’s an accessible track, which I felt was the right sound to launch my label. Laszlo created the lyrics, which fit well with the message of, well, coming into existence. I originally wrote the melody as an intro for my mix series ‘MUSIC FROM THE VOID’, but that idea expanded a lot. ‘From the Void’ is an introduction to my label, showcasing my creative direction and sound. Going forward, I want to focus on creating timeless-sounding tracks in progressive and melodic techno.

EG: I think the greatest skill is to create tracks that sound timeless. What do you think of all these older tracks getting remixed these days?

Ruud: I have heard old tracks like ‘Joy Energizer’ played by Amelie Lens, for example, and it still works so well. I think most of the time, you should just play the original track and not the remix. There are so many remixes that don’t complement the original as they should, so I wouldn’t play them unless they contribute something really fresh.

Ruud van den Muijzenberg’s ‘From the Void’ is out now via Elevate Zero Music. Stream and download here.

Follow Ruud van den Muijzenberg: Spotify | Instagram | Soundcloud

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